If you’re into audio gear, then you’ve probably wondered at some point if it’s possible to wire two different ohm speakers together.
In this post, we’ll be talking about ohm ratings and how they affect your speaker system. We’ll also show you how to wire different ohm speakers together, so you can get the most out of your sound system.
Sounds good? Then let’s get started!
How to Wire Speakers in Parallel?
Parallel speaker wiring lowers the system’s impedance or resistance (ohm rating), meaning it’s a great way to get more power out of your speakers without having to buy new ones.
However, one thing to note is that you’ll need to use a speaker amplifier that can handle a lower impedance rating.
You can do parallel speaker wiring in two ways:
Connect Individual Speakers in Parallel to the Amp
- Cut equally sized wires enough to connect the speakers in parallel to the amp.
- Connect the positive lead of one speaker to the positive lead of the amp using the positive speaker wire
- Connect the negative lead of the speaker to the negative lead of the amp using the negative speaker wire
- Repeat the above two steps for the other speaker(s)
Wire All Speakers in Parallel, Then Connect To Amp
- Cut speakers wires enough to wire the speakers together
- Next, twist the positive wire of one speaker to the positive lead of the other speaker
- Twist the negative wire of the first speaker to the negative lead of the other speaker
- Repeat the above two steps with any other speaker(s) you have
- Finally, connect one wired speaker’s positive and negative leads to the corresponding leads on the amp
Difference between Series and Parallel Wiring for Speakers
When wiring speakers, there are two ways to connect them: series or parallel. Here are the main differences between these two types of speaker wiring.
- Series wiring connects the positive terminal of one speaker to the negative terminal of the next speaker, and then the positive terminal of the second speaker is connected to the negative terminal of the amplifier. Parallel speaker wiring connects both positive terminals of all the speakers to the positive terminal of the amplifier, and both negative terminals of all the speakers are connected to the negative terminal of the amplifier.
- Wiring speakers in series increases the total impedance of the system decreasing how much electric current flows to the speakers. Wiring speakers in parallel reduces the total impedance of the speakers increasing the amount of electric current that flows to the speakers.
- Series speaker wiring is safe for most amps and stereos due to the increased ohms load from the speakers (A higher number of speakers can be wired based on minimum ohms requirements of amp). Parallel is not always possible for most amps and stereos due to the reduced ohms load from the speakers (a more limited number of speakers can be wired due to the minimum ohms requirements)
- Wiring speakers in series means that if one fails all the others will also fail. If one speaker fails in a parallel wired speaker system, the others will still produce sound
Are Speakers Louder in Series Or Parallel?
Many factors go into making a great speaker. But, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to wire your speakers in series or parallel.
When two or more speakers are wired in series, the impedance of the circuit is increased. The current flowing through each speaker is lowered, meaning that the speakers’ system may produce a lower-pitched sound.
When two or more speakers are wired in parallel, the impedance of the circuit is decreased. The current that flows through each speaker is increased, and consequently, a louder sound is produced.
So, which is the better way to wire your speakers? Generally speaking, parallel speaker wiring is better as it produces a louder sound.
How Many Speakers Can You Wire in Series?
Due to the higher ohms load of speakers connected in series, a high number of speakers can be wired together. The exact number really depends on the wattage of your speakers and how much current they draw.
In general, you want to keep the total wattage of the speakers below the maximum wattage of the amplifier. So, if the total wattage of 2,4,6 speakers matches that of the amp, then it’s totally okay to wire them in series.
Running Different Ohm Speakers on Same AMP
When you’re an audiophile, you want the best sound quality no matter what. This includes even running different ohm speakers on the same amp. Well, while this is possible, it’s not recommended.
First, you need to understand the different types of ohm (impedance) speakers. There are two main types: low impedance and high impedance. Taking, for example, 4 ohms and 8 ohms speakers, the 4 ohm is a lower impedance speaker while the 8 ohm is a higher impedance speaker.
Low impedance speakers require less current than high impedance speakers to produce the same sound level. This means that if, for example, you try running two speakers off one channel on the same amp, the low impedance ones will overpower the high impedance speakers leading to a poor overall sound.
So, in general, for the best sound quality, you need to connect speakers with the same ohm ratings, preferably in pairs.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re a music lover or not, you have to admit that speakers are pretty cool. They make it possible for us to enjoy our music and movies in ways we never could before. And, if you’re like most people, you probably have more than one speaker.
But what if you want to combine two different sets of speakers? Can you do that?
In most cases, the answer is yes. However, it would help if you made sure that the combined wattage rating of the speakers is equal to or less than the wattage rating of the amplifier. Additionally, you need to make sure that the minimum ohm ratings of the amp are met.